Iowa Select Farms Announces Committment to

posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

On the heels of the Green Farmstead Program partnership, Iowa Select Farms announced a second major commitment to reducing odors, and that’s the addition of electrostatic fence technology at the end of each new finishing barn.

The wheels were in motion last fall when the production team switched from a naturally ventilated, curtain-sided barn to a tunnel-ventilated finishing barn.

Tunnel ventilated barns mechanically pulls the air through the barn and out the exhaust fans, explains Dr. John Stinn, environmental project manager for Iowa Select Farms. “Now, with air flowing out of barn at one location, odor reduction technologies such as fences, tree lines and other windbreaks can be significantly more effective.”

“Odor attaches itself to small dust particles that circulate inside the barns,” said Dr. Stinn. “What we’re really trying to do is knock the dust down, which will in turn reduce the odor. Our best chance is when those particles exit out the exhaust fans off the back of the barn.”

The electrostatic fence features two electrically charged lines of barbed wire powered with 30,000 volts that will “knock down” the odor-carrying dust particles exiting the fans of the tunnel-ventilated barn.

When the dust enters the ionization field between the fans and the electrostatic fence, a negative charge is placed on the dust particles. When the dust particles hit the mesh fence, it serves as a grounding plate which attracts and grabs the charged particles.

The fabric fence also slows the airspeed and mechanically filters the larger dust particles and which will be washed off by rain showers, or by a power-washer if necessary.

Stinn says the electrostatic fences can reduce odor by 50-70 percent. Paired with the tree and scrub lines placed immediately after the fence the combined effort to reduce odors experienced by neighbors to the farm will be significant.

Stinn and his engineering team have partnered with Iowa State University to continue testing the technology to measure the results.